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Connecting

Mr. Hart replied to a post from earlier in the week:

Ok so lets say you have a well written screenplay or you are in the process of writing one, how does one go about selling it? For example, I am a PA on a television series and what if I wanted to write a feature screenplay? Who would be an asset on the crew list and/or at the studio itself?

Trying to write a feature and working on a show seems impossible, like I’ve started in the wrong place, but for what it’s worth, it was the only spot I could get a job. So, for the time being this is what the situation is and these are my goals

First of all, I know I’ve gone to this well many times, but read this post by John August: Professional Writing and the Rise of the Amateur.

The gist is, you should present yourself as a professional writer at all times, even when, say, posting a comment on a blog. I count six (or four, depending on how picky you are) grammatical mistakes in Mr. Hart’s first sentence. This does not engender much confidence in his ability to assess whether or not his script is well-written.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, seeking out “assets” is not the way to approach this business. Or life, really.

I read an interesting book recently, called Never Eat Alone. In it, Keith Ferrazzi explains that you shouldn’t treat networking as an activity in itself. Instead, you should try to connect with people. Sit with different departments at lunch, go out for drinks after wrap, talk to others about their kids, their spouses, their hobbies, their life outside of the show.

In short, make friends.

Someday, when you have written a brilliant screenplay, tell them about it. They’ll be interested. After all, it’s your interest, your hobby, and your friends will like to hear about it. And the more friends you have, the more likely it is you’ll know someone who knows that manager, that producer, that executive who is looking for this exact kind of story.

But before you do any of that, read Josh Olsen’s I Will Not Read Your Fucking Script. Really read it. Then read it again. Then one more time, just to be sure you’re not That Guy.

Then do another pass on the script.

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